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NBA’s Top-5 Leaders in 25-Assist Games - Fan’s Analysis
The slang word in NBA circles for an assist is a "dime." The NBA is currently loaded with stellar point guards who "drop dimes" on a near nightly basis, including playmakers like Steve Nash (11.2 APG), Rajon Rondo (10.8), and Chris Paul (8.8). On March 30th, 2012, Deron Williams dropped 20 assists on the Golden State Warriors, a "double dime" you could say.
But in some games, a "dime" is not enough for an elite point guard. Believe it or not, but there have been players in the past who have dropped a "quarter" by registering 25 or more assists in a single game. Here is my analysis as an NBA fan of those memorable games. All stats provided by pro-basketball-reference.com and can be found here.
Scott Skiles, Orlando Magic - 30 Assists
On December 30, 1990, the scrappy Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic made NBA history by dishing out an amazing 30 assists in a 155-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets, a single-game record which still stands today. What is most amazing about Skiles' 30 assists is the fact that he only had two legitimate scorers to feed - Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson - and they were limited to 22 and 21 minutes in the blowout. Skiles coaxed 27 points out of Jerry Reynolds, 25 from Terry Catledge, and a combined 40 from reserves Otis Smith, Minchael Ansley, and Jeff Turner in racking up his 30 assists. With the rarity of 150+ point games in today's NBA, Skiles' record may stand for many years to come.
John Stockton, Utah Jazz - 26, 27, and 28 Assists
While Scott Skiles holds the single-game assist record, John Stockton wears the championship belt for the most 25+ assists games, performing the feat three times - 1988 (26 assists), 1989 (27), and 1991 (28). No other NBA player outside of John Stockton topped the 25 assists mark more than once in their career. Stockton dominated the NBA in assists per game during those years, leading the league in assists for nine straight years between 1988 and 1996.
Kidd joined the Quarter Club with 25 assists on February 8, 1996 while leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-133 victory over John Stockton and the Utah Jazz. Kidd got a lot of help from sharpshooter Jim Jackson (10-18 FG, 38 points) and the versatile George McCloud (11-19 FG, 32 points). Also helping the cause was the game going into double-overtime, allowing Kidd to play 49 minutes. It is hard to put an asterisk next to Kidd's accomplishment though since he sits second on the NBA's all-time assists list. The Quarter Club would seem almost incomplete without Kidd, so I am fine with him getting a few extra minutes to gain entry.
Nate McMillan, Seattle Supersonics - 25 Assists
Nate McMillan took full advantage when his Seattle Supersonics faced off against the hapless 9-43 Los Angeles Clippers on February 23, 1987. McMillan set the table for Dale Ellis (29 points), Xavier McDaniel (28 points) and Tom Chambers (25 points) in registering 25 assists in a 124-112 Sonics victory. McMillan was a rookie second round pick (30th overall) when he joined the Quarter Club in 1987, making him the most unlikely member of the group. While McMillan never put up the type of career assists stats as Stockton or Kidd, nobody can diminish his 25 assist masterpiece.
Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns - 25 Assists
KJ's Quarter Club performance is particularly noteworthy because it came against a good San Antonio Spurs team (52-22 at the time) on April 6th 1994 and the Suns only scored 107 points in the game. When factoring out the five field goals that KJ scored, the rest of the Suns team only made 38 field goals, 25 of which were assisted by Kevin Johnson. KJ's career average of 9.1 assists per game is seventh all-time.
Andrew Sweat is an NBA fan and graduate of BYU and the University of Arizona. More from this author:
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